Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Save or Splurge?

Are you budget-conscious like me yet you want good quality makeup? Well then, you're just like me. I do a lot of reading about saving vs. splurging so I hope that my own version will help other people like me in choosing which products they can save on and products that need a little splurging. Of course, if you can afford to splurge in all types of makeup, then no one is stopping you :P

Let's begin.

Foundation. Splurge. Your face is your canvas, so look for one that will make your face as flawless as possible. It should be long-lasting, non-streaky or cakey, and will give you a "your face but better look.

Concealer. Splurge. I hate to be the one to say this, but when it comes to concealer, the more expensive brands to seem to work better than drugstore brands most of the time (not all of the time!). Look for something that will give good coverage, long-lasting and is not cakey.

Eyeshadow. Save. Here's a tip: buy in palettes. That way you get more value for money. Besides, if you're not a makeup artist, it's quite unlikely that you'll be able to consume one whole pot before it expires. But if there are some shades that you use almost everyday, then buying a whole pot is a good idea.

Eyeliner. Splurge. Especially for me since I have REALLY oily lids, I need something that will stay put the whole day!

Eyebrow pencil/powder. Save. I do believe that you can save on this because a lot of inexpensive brands seem to do the trick.

Mascara. Save. Since mascaras have the shortest life span among makeup items, it's a good money-saving tip to buy inexpensive ones. I believe that there are inexpensive mascaras that work well.

Blush. Save. There are inexpensive blushes that have good pigmentation, have a good finish and are long-lasting.

Lipstick/Lipgloss. Save. I'm not an expert on trad lippies, since I only use mineral lippies, but I've read that there are some good inexpensive lippies out there. Besides, even the high-end lipglosses can have that sticky feeling that I hate.

Finishing powder. Save or splurge. If all you're looking for is good oil control, then you can find it in inexpensive powders, but if you're looking for a pretty finish as well, I think the more expensive ones give a better dewy-but-not-glittery look.

Well, I hope I've helped some of the budget-conscious! I'm not saying that you SHOULD save on the items I've mentioned, I'm saying that you CAN save on these if you want or need to. Although, I know how fabulous makeup makes us makeup addicts happy!

Any reactions or comments? Leave me a note :P

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Synthetic Retractable Brushes

Seen above is a picture of my retractable brushes.

Here is a pic of them from the top:

A retractable brush is the only type of brush I bring around, because I don't have brush guards to protect my brushes so I prefer retractables so brush stays protected. Since it's the only type of brush I bring around, I expect it to be multi-purpose: I can use it to retouch my finishing powder and blush. It's also an added bonus if it can act as an emergency mineral foundation brush, although it's not really necessary. So let me briefly describe my brushes (Please note that these brushes are synthetic):

Price: 499 (around $10)
Available locally

This brush looks very similar to The Body Shop retractable brush but the TBS brush head is smaller. As you can see with the picture, it has the longest head out of all my three brushes. It makes a good touch-up brush for blush and finishing powder, yet I was surprised that it could also be used as an emergency kabuki brush for mineral foundations, if I sleep over in a house where I don't have any brushes.

Rating: 4/5

Price: P480 (around $9.50)
Available locally

This is the cutest out of all the brushes because it's small and it's pink! What makes this different from the three is that it has a flat top head. I feel that this causes the brush to have an identity crisis because flat tops are normally used for foundations and yet the brush hairs are flimsy. Although you can remedy this by not pulling the metal sleeve all the way down, I find that this metal sleeve is a bit loose so it makes it hard to stay in that position. I'm also not comfortable using a flat head for blush because it gives an "in your face" look instead of a soft blush.

Rating: 3.5/5

Price: $9.99 from the Makeup Mix Shop

The great thing about this brush is that it's made from recycled aluminum so it's earth-friendly! It also doesn't have a shiny metal finish unlike the other two brushes I have which makes it very scratch-resistant! This is the most kabuki-like among all three. It's quite dense making it a good mineral foundation brush but it's still workable as a finishing powder and blush brush for touchups.

Rating: 5/5

Hope this review helped

Friday, April 24, 2009

Playing for a Friend's Recital FOTD

Just wanted to show you a look a made when I played for my friend's recital:

I'm not wearing any lip gloss in this picture since this was taken after I played.

Here's me actually smiling (with gloss on):

I know what your thinking? My hair needs work. Well I had my hair done after this day so it no longer looks like this. Tee hee!

Products used:

Bare Naturals Oil-free Pretties
Buff'd Original Foundation in Moccasin
Lauress Minimalist in Pure Yellow
Ellana Sheer Velvet Finishing Powder in White Chocolate

Covergirl Brow and Eye Maker in Midnight Brown
Lunasol Brow Styling Mascara in Natural Brown
Coastal Scents 88 shimmer palette
Coastal Scents 88 palette
MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack
Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Yeyo
Loreal Telescopic Mascara

Coastal Scents Contour and Blush Palette

Silk Naturals Lip Gloss in Breathless

I'm currently rediscovering my SN Lip Gloss in Breathless. It's a good choice for a soft finish and I have a feeling I'll be using this more often again.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mail Day

This is a picture of my purchase from EDM together with other sisses from Girltalk. Thanks Kat (katiztic of GT) for hosting this! I got it today. I got an FO brush and a pressed mineral foundation. The FO brush looks flimsy, unfortunatey, huhu! However, the foundation seems okay. I got the "Fairly Light Golden" shade. Well, as expected, it was more golden than yellow (I'm more yellow than golden). EDM's shades for the pressed mineral foundies are quite limited, but based on the description, this seemed to be the closest match for me. Although it's not an exact match for me, it's pretty close. I have to try it though. It's shimmery from the swatch, I just hope there's not too much shimmer when I apply it on my face. I have to give kudos for the packaging, though. I expected it to be in a plastic compact, as shown from a previous pic from the EDM forums, but it's actually made of recycled cardboard! Yey to being earth-friendly.

That's not all I received today. Recently, held a contest. They were giving a way a Chapstick Ultra and a Cherry Chapstick to the first 5 people to answer the question correctly. Sadly, I was the 6th. BUT I didn't go away empty handed--the 6th to 10th contestants were given a Chapstick Ultra. This is great since I want it more than the Cherry Chapstick anyway since it has SPF 30. Perfect for summer.

Here it is:

I'm sorry that the pic came out blurry for some reason. Anyway, that's all for now!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tagged by Chrissy!

Chrissy tagged me so I'm doing this!

What is your current obsession?
Makeup too! When I started this blog I wasn't as into makeup as I am now.

What is your weirdest obsession?
I have to get back to you on that one.

What are you wearing today?
A brown Old Navy shirt given to me by a friend for Christmas.

What's your favorite comfort food?
chips. I know it's bad but I like it.

What would make today special?
well I don't see what makes today special actually.

What would you like to learn to do?
Basically... makeup, professionally. -->ditto on that!

What’s the last thing you bought?
Yesterday I bought godiva vitamin c serum (I don't want to run out), a new umbrella (my old one has to be retired) and a going away gift for a friend.

What are you listening to right now?
The television.

What is your favourite weather?
The type of weather during Christmas! It's just right.

What is your most challenging goal right now?
To not be lazy this summer! Even though I already graduated, I musn't stop practicing.

What do you think about the person who tagged you?
I love her boldness! She really goes out of the box when she does her makeup!

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
Maybe in Hongkong? I don't know really. haha.

What would you like to have in your hands right now?
I'm going with Laura on this one, Money honey! <-- Ditto, Sarah! --> I ditto this too!

If you could swap lives with anyone for one day who would it be and why?
It's odd but my chemistry teacher asked me this too. I'd like to be a scientist and see how their brain works!

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
The US! watch me spend! haha. just kidding.

Which language do you want to learn?
More Spanish. --> I agree
What do you look for in a friend?
someone who is not so secretive, easy to get along with, trustworthy and who will be there for you

Who do you want to meet in person?
The beauty bloggers whom I haven't met in person.

What’s your favourite type of music?
classical and broadway

What is your favourite piece of clothing you own?
this vintage-y t-shirt dress from hk.

What is your dream job?
to be a performer

Any favourite models?
not really. i'm not into that type. maybe heidi klum?

If you had £100 now what would you spend it on?
I'd use it to help fund for a really nice flute! although 100 pounds is not enough though.

Thing you wish you could change in your past?
My...turn for the worse. Eating-habits wise. --> i agree.

Fashion pet peeve?
dressing down shoes to look more down-to-earth

Do you admire anyone’s style?
i'm not into fashion that much. i prefer makeup! haha.

Describe your personal style.
I like lacy, girly blouses!

What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
chocolate! enough said.

What is your favourite makeup brand?
for mineral makeup, aromaleigh. for non-mineral makeup, hmm i can't say yet.

Do you get enough beauty sleep? Yes or no, and why?
not always. you know how life is. you just can't get all the things you want.

Okay, here's the rules:
1. Respond and rework: answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, add one more question of your own.
2. Tag eight other people.
I tag:
1) thiamere
2) soapaholic
3) gale
4) K
5) ida
6) gale
7) jamie
8) shasta

Sunday, April 19, 2009

On Vision and Contact Lens

Bad eyesight runs in the family. I've been wearing glasses since I was 7 years old. In fact, I think that wearing glasses at an early age stunted my nose growth so it's not as nice as it could have been.

I was in 2nd year college when I decided that I've had enough of glasses and wanted to get contact lens. The first brand I tried was Durasoft, based on the recommendation of my aunt who is an opthalmologist.

The first time I went to school without glasses, a lot of people asked me if I got eyelash extensions. Apparently, with my glasses, people never noticed my eyes before. I'd tell them, "No I didn't. They've been like that since before, you just never noticed." :P Anyway, when Durasoft was phased out, I tried Ciba Thin, which worked well. Then, my mom, who is also a of an enabler, suggested that I try colored contact lens. I agreed, and then got two pairs of Freshlook, one in brown and one in green. I loved Freshlook, but I hated the hole it burned on my pocket.

So now, I'm currently trying out a cheaper brand called FreshKon. I understand that some people get allergies from this product, but so far, I'm not having any problems with it. I still like Freshlook better, but for the price, I don't mind sticking to FreshKon.

Anyway, I still have to get myself some glasses because I can't wear contact lens everytime I'm awake so last week I went to the optical shop to look for a pair. OMG I couldn't believe the prices! The last time I got myself a pair of glasses was 5 years ago. During that time, I was still with my parents so I didn't realize how steep the price was, but now that I was by myself, I was like, wow! Frames are expensive, and since the grade of the lens are high, I had to buy them in ultrathin so that they won't look so thick, so I paid quite a hefty price for a pair of glasses! Having bad eyesight is expensive.

For those of you who have eyesight problems, I hope this post helped. For those who are blessed with good eyesight, be thankful for it!

Friday, April 17, 2009

2nd Loot from the Makeup Mix Shop

I just wanted to show you a pic of my 2nd loot from the Makeup Mix Shop! I ordered the Ecotools 6-piece set (it's 5 brushes and a hemp roll) and the Ecotools retractable brush. I also got a free FS Makeup Masala eyeshadow by typing the code "NIKKI" as well as an e/s in a sample baggie! All this on top of free shipping (for a minimum purchase of $20). Her store is so addicting. She's just so generous!

Anyway, the brushes are so soft! I'm especially excited about the retractable brush. Just by looking at it, I can already feel that I'm going to love this. This is my 3rd retractable brush already so I'll be making an entry about my retractable brushes. I'll also be getting back to you on the 6-piece set.

The FS eyeshadow I got (Amar) wasn't as dark as I expected but it's still a lovely color! I can't wait to use it

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Product Review: Urban Decay 24/7 liners in Velvet Rope

I've been curious about these for a long time already, and after I tried Nikki's (askmewhats) set, I liked it and HAD to buy for myself. Just a quick note, I previously mentioned that Urban Decay might be discontinuing this but it was just a false alarm. I'm happy to announce that this is back in stock.

Anyway, here are the swatches:

from left to right: Yeyo, 1999, Zero, Bourbon, Stash

These colors are more wearable than the VIP set, which is for the more adventurous ones.

Anyway, after a minute, I tried smudging them really hard. This is what happened:

It's really hard to see, but I place an arrow to show where it smudged. The metallic ones smudged a teeny, teeny bit but only the glitter particles. The color remained intact. However, Zero, the matte black, did smudge. You can see that there is a small gray streak on top of the swatch.

Even though these received a lot of raves, I really didn't expect it to hold up to my oily lids! No matter how "smudgeproof" these are, pencil liners are really not for me. I actually bought these for my waterline. Now that's another story! In my waterline, these stay on for more than 8 hours without smudging. That is, except for Zero (black). With Zero, it smudges with me after 10 minutes only! :(

More good news: I'm wearing contact lens and I didn't experience any bad reactions to this as opposed to MUFE Aqua Eyes (my eyes became so painful after 2 hours), which is why I bought this instead.

So what is the verdict? Except for Zero (black), everything works really well on my waterline. This is not suitable for very oily-lidded gals like me, though. Trust me, I have a really oily face!

Will I buy this again? Yes, I will buy 24/7 liners again, but I might think about buying these individually because the black liner is not as good as the rest.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Product Review: Garnier Light Eye Contour Whitening Cream SPF 15

It's been a while since I've done a skincare product review, so here's one!

This product claims to help whiten the eye as well as prevent wrinkles because of its SPF 15.

I bought this because I want an affordable product that has SPF. I saw this in the supermarket so I had to try it out :P

I've been using this product for a long time already so I think I've used it long enough to make a review. Here are my findings:

>>available locally
>>affordable at P349 (around $7)
>>it has SPF
>>has an instant brightening effect because of the whitish cast brought by the SPF factor
>>packaged in a tube, which is hygienic

>>I got dry spots for the 1st 2 weeks of usage
>>Based on the 1st point, it doesn't moisturize
>>it's not easily absorbed by the skin

After a few months of usage, as well as using a mineral concealer, I noticed that my undereye did become lighter! Yey!

Will I buy this again? Maybe. As much as I like what it's done for my eyes, I also want something that is moisturizing, since I just hit my 20s and I'm already showing some lines :(

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Swap Nightmares

Okay, this is not a long post. I'd just like to put up a quick note here. I came across an entry at Cris' (diamondenigma) blog about swapping and clicked on the links she provided. Those links were entries about bloggers who got scammed or duped by other bloggers with whom they swapped with. So I started reading about bad experiences of a few people. This is causing a sort of trauma to those who get victimized and other bloggers are now getting scared of swapping. I've never tried doing a swap with someone from another country (just locally) but I am open to the idea of swapping with someone in the future. Unfortunately, some swappers are creating a bad image about swapping, so now, swapping activity has greatly diminished. I may never get to swap with someone :(

Let's keep swapping clean and enjoyable. And maybe we should also make sure that we know the person we're swapping with well enough to know that they are trustworthy. :)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Tips from a Book

Look at what I found lying around the house!

Although it's an old book, it's still interesting. I'd like to show you an interesting section on eyeliner styles that could be of some help:

I labeled the illustrations to show you what's being referred to:

1. natural eye
2. daytime and more dramatic
3. evening and special occasion look
4. exotic eye

Here's my favorite section:

These are illustrations of shading and highlighting. The page on the left is for highlighting, the white parts are the highlighted parts. The page on the right is for shading, with the gray parts as the shades areas. These illustrations are easy to follow. HTH!

You can click on the picture to see be able to read what the page better.

I went swimming the other day. It's my first time in 5 years! So my skin has tanned. I think my face is going back to its original color but my body has still the same color. The side of my mouth is red though :( I don't if it's because I forgot to put sunblock there or it got irritated from the chlorine :( I'm putting emu oil on it and it's getting better though.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Essence of Beauty Brushes: MAC brush dupes?

When I got my first MAC brush set, which is the Heirlooms set, the first thing I thought of when I saw them is that they looked a lot like the Essence of Beauty face brushes that I have. So are EoB brushes dupes of MAC? Let me show you the pics to compare. May I remind you that the MAC brushes I have are SEs, not FS so they are smaller than the FS brushes.

Here is a look at my MAC 168SE (left) vs. the EoB blush brush (right):

The MAC is of course, smaller because it's not an FS brush, but they look very similar right?

Here is a look at my MAC 190SE (left) vs. EoB foundation brush(right):

Aside from the size difference, the EoB foundation brush is more pointed.

Here is the MAC 194SE (left) vs. EoB concealer brush (right):

My EoB is unwashed so it has a lot of residue but without it, it looks pretty similar to the 168SE. The EoB concealer brush is wider, though.

They look really similar don't they?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Product Review: Avon Magix Face Protector SPF 20

photo taken from

Product Description:

A magical air-light gel-powder colorless formula that makes all skin tones look flawless... invisible coverage; instant perfection. Banish shine up to 10 hours.

Active Ingredients:

Other Ingredients:

I've been wanting to try this out for the longest time since I read so many good reviews about this product. I have extremely oily skin and I'm still looking for my HG oil control product. So when Toma (www.makeupmasala) sold this in her site, I grabbed the chance to try it out.

Upon trying this product, I had a good impression. It's color is white when you squeeze it out of the tube, but becomes colorless when you apply it to your face. It instantly blurred my pores and provided a smooth canvas to put my makeup on. It dried right away too. It reminded me of Monistat anti-chafing gel, but this one didn't make my skin rougher.

However, whoever wrote this product description has never met someone like me! It claims to banish oil for up to 10 hours. I've read reviews from others who said that it controlled the oil for 6 hours or more. Unfortunately, for my case, it only controlled the oiliness for 1 and 1/2 hours! Haha! That's actually good for just one oil control product alone, but I still hoped that it would go on for a little longer. Combined with other oil control products, it controlled my oiliness for around 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours, which is still not bad.

Sadly, this did not hold my makeup as well as my other primers. With my other primers, a lot of makeup really comes off when I wash my face at the end of the day. With this one, there was considerably less makeup left.

So once again, I'm giving a rundown of the pros and cons of this product:

  • blurs imperfections
  • has SPF
  • leaves a smooth finish
  • dries quickly
  • did not cause breakouts
  • non-drying
  • has oil control
  • is in a tube, so is therefore hygienic
  • not available locally
  • does not hold makeup as well as other primers
So will I buy this again? Probably not. Despite the fact that I like this product and there are a lot more pros than cons, it didn't hold my makeup well, which is a big problem for me.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

What's Inside My Kikay Kit?

These are all the lippies I bring around. They're quite a lot. I'm a lippie-person. And they're all mineral!

I bring a lot of stuff around so I can't have too much stuff in my kikay kit. This is definitely much less than what other beauty bloggers bring around.

Here's what I have:
  • Soft wet tissue
  • Oil blotting papers
  • a big comb (my hair is prone to tangles)
  • MAC Blot
  • Silica Powder from Sweetscents which I transferred to a different container
  • Covergirl Brow and Eye Maker in Midnight Brown
  • E.L.F. eyeshadow palette in Butternut (this is the smallest palette I have so it doesn't take up much space)
  • Skin Food Vitamin Shadow (as blush)
  • Ellana Lip and Cheek Tint in Amethyst
  • Ellana Retractable Brush (this is my multi-purpose brush)
  • Myra E Lotion (this is so cheap but I love this!)
What's inside your kikay kit? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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